THE family of a rollercoaster victim who was horrifically injured and is fighting for her life have slammed online trolls after being hit with cruel abuse.
Shylah Rodden, 26, remains in a coma in critical condition after the tragic accident which unfolded at the Royal Melbourne Show in Australia on Sunday evening.
Her dad says she has been left brain damaged with horrific injuries after she was said to have been dragged nine metres into the air before she plunged to the ground in front of horrified visitors.
But, as Shylah’s loved ones rally around her broken body in hospital, they are also battling online abuse.
Her sister Caisha told the DailyMail: “It’s sad and disgusting to see the false stories and cover up when my sister is fighting for her life.”
Online trolls have coldly blamed Shylah for the tragedy, after police and show organisers said she had been hit while trying to retrieve her mobile phone.
One man wrote under a news story about the tragedy: “Serves herself right for going where she is not supposed to be going.”
Another said: “It’s not a freak accident, when she was somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be.”
Many of the comments were so cruel the press has chosen not to publish them.
Caisha said the rumours were causing even greater pain to her family who are already struggling to cope.
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She said: “Definitely misinformation regarding the accident, which is really sad and causing more distress for our family.
“Shylah is in critical condition and we won’t know more until later today as we will be discussing with police and giving some eye witness statements.”
Her father, Alan Rodden, said mystery still surrounds how Shylah was hit.
He said: “There are a lot of stories going around and I don’t know which one is true and if someone is covering their tracks.”
On the day of the tragic accident, paramedics treated Shylah for serious facial injuries at the scene before rushing her to hospital in a critical condition.
Alan said his daughter will be in a coma for quite a while.
He told the Daily Mail: “The injuries are horrific. Horrific. She’s brain damaged. It’s pelvic, her arms, legs, back, neck – there’s hardly a thing that’s not broken.
“I just can’t work out how the hell so much damage has been done.
“Even the doctors have said they haven’t seen anything as bad as this for a long time.”
‘Loud bang and screams’
Caisha had said Shylah was working at the show when the horrific event unfolded.
She said: “She was helping out her friend at her stall for the day and she was sent on her break with another worker and they decided to go on a few rides to kill time and this happened unfortunately.”
One show attendee, Nathan Sanders, said he saw something fall from the corner of his eyes and heard screams.
The 18-year-old said: “Me and my friend were like ‘what the hell was that?’
“They were quite quick to act, they put up the barrier quite quickly and then there was an ambulance down and the crowd gathered around and they started pushing people away saying nothing happened… but obviously at the end of the day you don’t want to scare people.
“There were huge crowds of people.”
Another eyewitness said: “She flew from the ride, loud bang. Followed by a scream and very loud crack of her hitting the ground.”
A stall owner at the show said she heard the rollercoaster suddenly come to a screeching halt as people starting screaming.
She told The Herald Sun: “The screaming was so loud. I think everyone must have been really scared.
“The ride went up like normal, then there were screams, then it stopped and stayed that way for ages.”
On Monday, CEO of the Melbourne Royal Show Brad Jenkins said it was a “tragic accident that shouldn’t have happened”.
Mr Jenkins said: “From our understanding, there was a mobile phone at the base of the Rebel Coaster that she dropped on the ride and she went back to recover the mobile phone.
“Regrettably, she was tragically struck by the cart coming down.”
He also clarified that the incident was a “tragic accident, not a malfunction of a ride,” and that the rides were safe for public use.
However, speaking to ABC Mornings on Monday, Mr Jenkins refused to speculate as to whether the ride was cordoned off by a fence, and how Shylah accessed the base of the Rebel Coaster.
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He said: “I can’t comment specifically on that particular ride. There [are] operators down at each of the rides.”
Investigations by WorkSafe are ongoing, however, the ride could be reopened to public as early as Tuesday.